The Ecuadorian IP Office recently seized more than 37,000 items during operations carried out simultaneously at seven stores and a warehouse in three different cities – Guayaquil, Manta and Portoviejo.

The action came about as the result of a request by Crocs Inc, through an administrative infringement action, for an injunction against the ontinued infringement of its rights in three-dimensional (3D) marks registered in Ecuador.

The infringer was selling goods identical to those already prevented from entering Ecuador by a border measure, which would have been taken into account when considering whether to remove the goods from the marketplace.

The injunction was granted and, in order to carry it out, 16 public officers were brought in, as well as six lawyers representing Crocs Inc, all acting simultaneously.

The IP Office highlighted the importance of this type of actions, which aim to protect the rights of trademark owners, but also contribute to ensuring that the consumer is not confused when choosing products.

The goods seized included close to 23,000 pairs of imitation footwear and 14,000 items of packaging, including shopping bags bearing the recognisable 3D Crocs design. The operation was a complete success, to the point that the only issue of note was finding storage for all the products seized.

This represents the biggest anti-counterfeiting joint operation relating to the seizure of IP-infringing goods ever carried out in Ecuador. It is important to note the change in attitude on the part of the IP Office, which, upon being made aware of infringement cases, is supportive of this type of actions.